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Gluten free Rhubarb Crumble

Rhubarb Crumble - Gluten free © Sue Todd Photography 2015

Rhubarb Crumble – Gluten free.

Apologies, its ages since I posted, and now when I do its a cake that isn’t a cake but a crumble instead!  Let’s call it creative!

Okay so I started out making cake but got seriously distracted and found myself staring at a bowl where with absent mind I’d  mixed the sugar, (destined for the butter to do the whole cream thing),  up with the flour instead.  Hmmmm.  One of those ‘OH’ moments.  Now it may have come together but I didn’t want a total failure either as I was in need of something sweet.  So cake became crumble instead and the obvious solution, as I don’t know how to extract sugar from the flour and I’d not like it all overly sweet either.

Rhubarb © Sue Todd Photography 2015.

Rhubarb © Sue Todd Photography 2015.

I’d set out to make a gluten free cake, so it now needed to become a gluten free crumble. I used a mixture of flours for this, you could do half almond and half coconut (and then it would be grain free too) but I didn’t want too much coconut flavour in there so I opted for some rice flour as that was what I had to hand.

This is pretty quick and easy to do and rather tasty.

Gluten-free Rhubarb Crumble

Gluten-free Rhubarb Crumble © Sue Todd Photography 2015

Rhubarb Crumble – Ingredients:

  • 3oz or 85g butter,
  • 6oz or 170g vanilla sugar or unrefined castor sugar,
  • grated rind from one orange,
  • 4oz or 113g almond flour,
  • 2oz or 56g rice flour,
  • 2oz or 56g coconut flour,
  • 1 lb  or 453g rhubarb, cut into pieces approx 4cm long

Rhubarb Crumble – Method

If you are using a conventional oven, pop it on to warm up first, you’ll need it to be at about 180C/350F or Gas Mark 4.  Put the chopped rhubarb into a bowl with 3oz of the sugar and leave for an hour or so.  If you use the dish you are going to cook the crumble in it will save dishes! I didn’t, but then I didn’t set out to make crumble either.

Tip the flours, sugar and butter into a bowl and rub together until it butter is mixed in well and the whole thing looks well ‘crumbly’ really, just like a crumble should.

Tip the crumble mix over the rhubarb and pop in the oven to cook.  I use the baking oven of the AGA.  It should take about 20 minutes.

To Serve:

Serve with cream, yoghurt, ice-cream or custard.  I like the cold leftovers with yoghurt for breakfast next day, its delicious and decadent all at the same time.  I can tell you if you make this on a Sunday, its a real treat of way to start the week on a Monday morning for breakfast!


Basil and Olive Focaccia

Basil and Olive Focaccia fresh from the oven.  © Sue Todd Photography 2015

Basil and Olive Focaccia fresh from the oven. © Sue Todd Photography 2015

This is a Paul Hollywood recipe from his ‘100 Great Breads’ book and is delicious.  If you haven’t come across this book I can recommend it.  Paul used all black olives which I didn’t have, so ours used a mixture of green and black and worked well.  Gary prefers green olives so he loved it though I think I’d prefer it with all black olives – but what is life without compromise?

This goes wonderfully well with Gary’s Tomato Soup and together they make a smashing lunchtime treat that is substantial and warming as well as really tasty.

Ingredients:  Basil and Olive Focaccia for 1 loaf

  • 500g or 1lb 2 oz strong white bread flour, and extra for dusting,
  • 1 tbsp salt,
  • 100 ml/3 ½ fl oz olive oil,
  • 30g/1 oz fresh yeast,
  • 300 ml/¼ pint of water,
  • 125g/4 oz pitted olives, black or green, left whole
  • a handful of freshly chopped basil leaves,
  • salt water – made using 30g/1 oz salt dissolved in 100 ml/3½ fl oz warm water

Method:  Basil and Olive Focaccia

If you like to knead your dough with your hands,  tip the flour, salt, half the olive oil, the yeast and water into a large bowl.  I prefer to use my KitchenAid Stand Mixer to do the hard work so I put my ingredients in there and mix on speed 2.  Combine your ingredients in the bowl, before turning it out for kneading – approx 6 minutes.  I like to use a floured marble slab for kneading, but actually these days I prefer to let my KitchenAid do the work, so it continues and my dough generally spends about 10 minutes in total being well and truly pummelled.

I like to lift the dough out of the KitchenAid bowl and quickly oil the bowl lightly before popping the dough back in and setting it to rise on the AGA.  But any oiled bowl and warm place will suffice.  Cover with a clean tea towel and leave it to rise until doubled in size, time for this will vary depending on how warm it is but generally it shouldn’t take longer than a couple of hours.

I like to lay a sheet of greaseproof paper/baking parchment on a tray now instead of greasing the tray – it makes removal of the loaf so much easier when it’s cooked.  Paul recommends a baking tray  with raised edges (a bit like one for tray bakes), but I used a trusty cold shelf for the AGA instead.  His way may make it easier to inset the olives though!

Once your dough has risen, mix the basil and 100g or 3½ oz of your olives into the dough.  This is a bit messy and the odd olive may escape – our spaniels keep a keen watch out for any such tasty morsel.  Next put the dough into/onto your flat or tin and flatten it out until it’s about 2.5cm in thickness.

Basil and Olive Focaccia, ready to eat.  © Sue Todd 2015.

Basil and Olive Focaccia, ready to eat. © Sue Todd 2015.

Brush the surface of your Focaccia with olive oil and press indentations into the surface using your fingers.  Set to rise once again for about an hour.

If you are using a conventional oven you’ll need to preheat it to 230°C/450°F/Gas Mark 8.

When it’s ready to go in, brush the dough with salt water before drizzling with what’s left of the olive oil.  Press the remaining olives into the surface of the dough before popping it in the oven.  If you are using an AGA, mine goes into the baking oven.

It will need to cook for around 20-25 minutes until its turning a nice golden brown.  Lift it from the oven and transfer gently to a cooling rack to cool.  This is where the parchment/greaseproof paper comes in very handy indeed – and it makes washing up a breeze too.

I think this works well with soup – see Gary’s Tomato Soup but it’s also great with cheese and makes a lovely light meal with a glass of wine.

Grain-free, Gluten-free Pancakes

Gluten-free, grain-free pancakes © Sue Todd 2015.

Gluten-free, grain-free pancakes © Sue Todd 2015.

While you can make pancakes with gluten-free flour that’s not a great deal of help if you’re trying to avoid grains altogether.  This recipe uses coconut and almond flours to replace the grain and is wonderful for sweet pancakes, served with fresh fruit and maple syrup.

I thought I’d posted this months ago, doh!  It wasn’t until I went to link another article to this I realised the error of my ways! Continue reading

You know when life doesn’t quite go to plan?

Well life isn’t going to plan at the moment.  After our little blip with ill-health we were looking for a bit of normality, but what is normal after all?  There we were with all kinds of plans for what was coming next and then Gary fell over a wall and down a 3 foot drop breaking his leg in three places in the process!  He’s none weight-bearing until next Wednesday at the earliest and while he’s propelling himself around okay on those now its a little nerve-wracking at times as I ponder what comes next this year!

Fitting the blog in around a house that suddenly seems very large with just one of you to look after it, two spaniels who are used to five outings a day no less, looking after an invalid, keeping the fires going and still putting in the hours working is quite a feat.  However it’s getting easier as we form new patterns.  So while I can’t yet promise daily posts I’m hoping they’ll be more frequent than of late.

Today we woke to our first heavy frost and I came down to find the AGA had gone off!  That made for an unpleasant start to the day.  It wasn’t until I’d filled the kettle and lifted the lid that I realised all was not well, and the warm, cheery blast of heat that I’ve grown to expect was just plain missing.  It was due a service this month but I do rather wish it had waited rather than force the issue.  So today’s plans for cooking have fallen by the wayside, drying oranges in a microwave?? No I don’t think so either.  Hopefully we’ll be up and running again by tomorrow.

Famous Last Words

Well my last post was all about normal service being resumed shortly.  Of course I hadn’t bargained on my dearly beloved going headfirst over a wall and breaking his leg in three places!  With perfect hindsight I obviously should not have tempted fate.  We will be back, after all he’s going to have plenty of time with his feet up from now till Christmas!  However he’s not going to be bringing in any pheasants any time soon!

Lack of post!

Apologies for the lack of posts recently.  One of us knocked ourselves out, so the other had to go one better and gash their head open.  That was followed by contracting a tummy bug.  Having looked after said husband (the one with the head gash) well, I was repaid by him giving me his germs,  (not terribly gallant in my humble opinion!) so we’ve both been laid very low.  Food wasn’t something to even think about far less make or photograph.  I’ve had to avoid social media too as mine is full of food and photographs (a great deal of which are food photographs).  Happily we seem to be improving today and normal service will begin again shortly.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Cauliflower Crust Pizza © Sue Todd 2014

Cauliflower Crust Pizza © Sue Todd 2014

I’ve loved this since I stumbled across a recipe for it at  It sounds odd and if you don’t like cauliflower then you’ll be forgiven for assuming it has must be dire.  My sons refuse to believe it could be edible, but I can assure you it is wonderful and well worth trying, the resulting base is so far away from being like the stewed tasteless cauliflower I remember from my school days.  Actually thinking back to school meals I’m always surprised I ever came round to food at all, everything always seemed so gross.

Anyway back to the pizza.  The finished thing looks like pizza and tastes wonderful, while it doesn’t taste like a bread base it is really good and it doesn’t taste like you’d imagine it would either!  You don’t feel stuffed when you’ve finished eating but you are nicely satisfied.  The only thing you can’t do with it is pick it up in your hands to munch it like you would a normal bread based pizza, you’ll need to eat this one with a knife and fork.  The first time we made it Gary grated the cauliflower by hand, this takes forever and can be painful, I’d recommend using a food processor if you have one. For the crust I’ve so far used cheddar and mozzarella and they both work really well.  I think the crust could work well as the base for a gluten-free quiche that is quite delightful without leaving you feeling overly stuffed afterwards.  I’ve not tried this out yet but I think I will soon so that may figure on the blog shortly.

Ingredients: For the crust:

  • 2 cups shredded cauliflower
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic (or fresh garlic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


This is really down to personal choice, so far we’ve enjoyed ham and pineapple, salami with mozzarella and olives, all on top of a nice home-made tomato sauce.


Start with your cauliflower and chop it up into individual florets.  Then either grate it (I don’t recommend this route) or pulse it in a food processor until it’s in tiny pieces and looks a bit like rice.  You want small grains of cauliflower though and not a puree, a puree won’t work so well.

Put your processed cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave it for 8 minutes.  I hate using the microwave at all but this works so … I go with what it says to do.

Let the cauliflower grains cool and then mix up well with the other crust ingredients.

Grease an oven tray or pizza stone and shape the crust mixture into a round flattening it out carefully, so it has a traditional pizza shape to it.  Brush the top gently with olive oil.

Pop your pizza into the baking oven of the AGA for about 15 minutes.  I think this equates to about 450 degrees in a conventional oven.  If you’ve oiled the top it should begin to brown nicely.

At this point its time to add your topping of choice, before topping with cheese and putting it back in the oven to finish off for approximately five minutes.  Enjoy with salad and a nice glass of wine!

We find this makes one large pizza which we often don’t finish in one sitting.  With plenty of salad it could do four people, or two very hungry ones.